Multitouch Track Pad
Internal speaker quality
Solid Build Quality
HD/Ram user upgradable
Unofficially 6GB capable
Optical audio line in/out
Express card slot
Cons Subpar charge time
Switching Graphics Card requires log out
Chipset likely capable of "Hybrid SLI", unimplemented
Preconfig. RAM upgrades overpriced
No matte option
Lower capacity battery than previous MBP
Slot Load Drive still w/o manual eject
Summary I purchased this machine to replace my recently stolen Macbook. The 2007 system, configured with a T7500 conroe C2D @2.2 Ghz w/ 4MB L2 cache, 4GB of ram and a 160GB HD, had been far from the end of its usable life. While the macbook line had been nearly everything as a student/technician, I upgraded to the MBP for its increased screen size, Firewire 800, and Nvida chipset/graphics. Restoring my data from an external time machine back up was straight forward, and I put the machine through its paces. For its base price of ~$2000, the late 2008 MBP is configured with:
- 2.4GHz T8600 Penryn C2D w/ 3MB L2 Cache
- 2GB DDR3 @1066 MHz (PC 8500) ****
-1440X900 LED backlit display
- Integrated Nvidia 9400 Graphics (Battery life)
- Nvidia 9600 GT w/ 256MB DDR3 RAM (Preformance)
- 250GB SATA HD ****
- 20X CD/DVD-RW optical drive
- Airport Extreme Wireless (802.11a/b/g/n)
- ExpressCard 3/4 expansion slot
- Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
- iSight webcam
- Firewire 800 (backwards comparable to 400)
- Multi-touch track pad (up to 4 fingered gestures)
- Back-lit keyboard
- OS X 10.5 leopard
**** = User upgradeable
Leopard's Quartz Extreme graphics had consistently preformed well on my previous systems notoriously underpowered Intel GMA adapter. In both power saving and preformance settings, the OS was responsive and felt smooth. Installed via Bootcamp, Vista's experaince benchmark rated the macbook w/9600GT at 5.9 or 6 in all catagories. For some reason, Vista was unable to test or recognize the 9400. The Steam engine and its associated games ran fluidly and with out hesitation at 1440x900 and highest detail. At this same resolution, Crysis played very reasonably when some more intensive settings were lowered. The 9600GT's physX support, enabled from the driver, made more of an impact to the game's detail than I originally expected. After going through the motions of H.264 playback, gaming, and Photoshop CS4, there is no question in my mind that Apple's Nvidia switch was a good one.
The new unibody design is reassuringly rigid and feels solid in the hand. I find keyboard back-lights to be an unnecessary but appreciated luxury, and the tactile response of the keyboard is much more satisfying than on previous models. Apple lowered the capacity of its MBP batteries between generations, but I have found I achieve approximately 5-6 hours of word processing/ wireless web browsing if I dim the surprisingly bright display to a reasonable level. Wifi reception is the best I've personally experienced in a laptop, and bluetooth worked as I expected. While OS X functions comfortably with the standard 2GB of RAM, most comparably priced laptops do come with more. Vista 64 bit (now Bootcamp supported on the new MBPs) would greatly benefit from the added breathing room when run natively or virtualized. The upgraded track-pad is in my opinion, near perfect. The pad responds exactly as I direct it and the new multi-touch functions are a shockingly powerful tool for efficency.
Apple has deeply impressed me with this new offering, and dispite a few minor gripes, I am very satisfied consumer.
"Wow. I'm blown away."on by opwann
Pros Wow.... best laptop I've ever used.... nothing compares. This laptop is on a completely different level than anything out there. If you have the money, buy this - don't even take a second look at another brand. Apple has outdone themselves.
Cons I'd like to see a rounded edge to the laptop which allows me to rest my wrists comfortably. Other than that.... amazing keyboard and screen.... solid...and I mean solid.
Summary Don't even consider any other computer if you have the money.
Pros Lightweight, vibrant display, excellent look and feel.
Cons USB ports & battery charge time
Summary I upgraded to this machine from an older Macbook. I love it instantly. I wouldn't even mind there being only 2 USB ports if they were slightly farther apart. (fixable with a rotating hub for 39.99). That aside, I fell in love with this machine out of the box. I upgraded the RAM and HDD and it was simple and painless. Apple has outdone themselves with this unit.
Pros I love the new design and the specs have improved, not greatly, but significantly. Better graphics are much welcomed. New trackpad is great
Cons Lack of firewire port, a few more usb ports would be welcome and i think apple could make their ram and hard drive updates much cheaper
Summary I think this is a great laptop. Have been using it for almost two months now and I am loving it. I was initially concerned about how the glossy screen would be but I didnt encounter any serious problems and I think that overall I would prefer it to having a matte screen. The new trackpad it great, so nice and big! I also love the gestures and being able to click almost anywhere, don't know how i could live without it. An older firewire port would be much welcomed, but oh well. The backlit keyboard is also something that is really nice.
I would have like it if Apple had made it cheaper to upgrade the specs. I mean you are paying so much for this laptop, the least they could do is make it easier to make better. I would love to go to 4Gb ram, (although 2gb DDR3 isnt bad) and perhaps upgrade the hard drive. I guess i will have to buy from a different company. Battery life is ok, but pretty terrible when you switch to the highest graphics.
Overall a great laptop with possibly some improvements for the future, eh apple?
Pros To me this is the best laptop that Apple has released. Just purchased this laptop and I love it. Great power and speed and great battery life. I highly recommend this laptop!
Cons I really don't have any cons. The only thing would be the price is a little steep.